The Essentials on a Southeast Asia Seminar

Packing the Essentials for my study abroad trip

The Essentials on a Southeast Asia Seminar

Essentials in AsiaI have always lived with the mentality to be prepared for any situation when traveling. However, this can also weigh down a suitcase, which isn’t as much of a big deal on the way to my destination but can become an issue when I buy a lot of souvenirs on the return trip. I can hopefully help you be prepared for any situation while not putting your suitcase over the weight limit.

Flight Survival Kit

1. Neck Pillow

The flight to Thailand is about 24 hours, which for me was very difficult because I can’t sleep in unusual places. For this reason, a flight survival kit was essential for me. I started with a neck pillow, which I ended up purchasing the “J Pillow” so that I would also have head support and not just neck support. I purchased mine on Amazon and it ended up working really well for me.

2. Eye Mask

An eye mask is needed to block out the airplane lights, phone lights, computer lights, as well as to just block out all the activity that happens on the plane. I ended up with a satin eye mask that I knew would be comfortable for the long haul, however, ultimately it is a personal preference. An eye mask is a necessity to block everything out!

3. Sleep Aid

As I stated earlier, it is difficult for me to fall asleep anywhere other than my bed, so I did purchase a sleep aid to help me as much as possible to get some z’s. The popular options are either Benadryl or a ZzzQuil. For this flight I used ZzzQuil, however, I have used Benadryl before as well. For this trip, I opted for Zzzquil because I knew I would need allergy medication once we landed, and wanted that to be as effective as possible.

4. Gum

This is known for every flight to help relieve the pressure that builds up in your ears, and it is also an item that you will probably use throughout the trip.

5. Headphones/Earplugs

Headphones seem like an obvious one in this day and age, just make sure that you packed them on your carryon rather than in your suitcase by mistake. This could make a long flight even longer depending on how many children there could be on a flight. If you prefer earplugs rather than headphones, then pack those as well.

6. Snacks

I brought snacks so that if at any point I was hungry I could help myself. However, the flight we were on seemed to just keep feeding us and providing us something to drink so this didn’t seem as much of an issue. That meant that I had my snacks during the seminar, which did come in handy. I bought a water bottle at the airport, which was expensive, but I think it is important to also stay hydrated on a flight and throughout the whole Seminar as well. That is up to you!

All the Medications

Essentials in AsiaThis is an area that I definitely brought more than I needed just in case. There is good healthcare in Thailand, so if something does happen where you need a medication that you didn’t bring then you can obtain it there. I did not want to mess with dealing with labels I might not recognize so I brought what I thought I might need.

1. Allergy Medication

I know that I have allergies and that Allegra-D works best for me, so I made sure that I brought a new box of that. I am glad I did because I almost went through the whole box. Some of the other students that went on the trip ended up needing some of the allergy meds that I brought when they didn’t know they even had allergies. Among the group, there will be enough allergy meds for everyone, but Allegra-D doesn’t make me sleepy, which is important when you will be trying to enjoy yourself on this seminar!

2. Stomach Relief Medications

This is something that everyone should bring on the trip. This was my first trip to any Asian country, and I didn’t know how my stomach would react to some of the food I would be eating. I didn’t have any issues until the last two days of the trip when I finally needed something, and I was very grateful that I did have it.
Some stomach relief medication suggestions include:

  • Tums
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Pepto-Bismal
  • Ginger gum

3. Cold Medicine

I brought cold medicine, but I didn’t end up needing it at all. After traveling for 24 hours on a plane and didn’t know what I would be coming into contact with. It is better to have it than not, I always say. The Dayquil and Nyquil pills didn’t take up too much room in my bag.

4. Bug Spray/ Sunscreen

I brought both and was so happy that I did. I just bought a small bug spray and sunscreen to have because besides the company visits we are outside. Some of the activities included the Damnoen Floating Market in Thailand and the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam that I was grateful I had both products. I would highly suggest making sure that your legs are covered in bug spray, especially at night because that seemed to be where I was bit the most.

5. Pain Reliever

Bring Advil or Tylenol, just do it. You will need it at some point. Just pack it.

I hope that this information will help you have a better flight as well as to be prepared for your Seminar!

Alyssa O'Donnell
Alyssa O’Donnell View Full Bio

School: Northern Illinois University

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do” -H. Jackson Brown Jr

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